Friday, July 06, 2007

Taking care of business.

I obtained a bike box yesterday in preparation for my flight to Chicago. This is one of those straight forward statements describing a task anything but straight forward. I'm staying in Dartmouth, Halifax's twin city across the river.

Travel between the cities includes the Angus L. McDonald Bridge, a mile long suspension structure over 150 feet high. The idea of crossing it on a windy day with a billboard sized box attached to my bicycle was nothing short of terrifying. Unfortunately, the closest bike shop in Dartmouth was too far away, so across the McDonald it was. I've learned to call ahead before making long bike trips in foreign cities, and the shop said no problem, I could stop by and pick up a box. Upon arrival, all of the boxes were too small, so I rerouted to the train station and got a huge one for six bucks. Perfect, except that was the moment the rain began. Maritime weather is fickle and unconcerned with anyone's plans to move large pieces of cardboard across town. One hand was on my handlebars, the other held tenuously to my cardboard sail. The first gust of wind almost laid me in the middle of the street. The rain was light but persistant so I pedaled toward the bridge before my cargo could turn to six-dollar mush. How I actually made the crossing, I'm not sure. I stopped a couple of times when gusts threw me into a swerve on the wet steel platform. I survived the gale without injury and only minor spattering on the box. It's the size of a Chicago bedroom, so I put my bike and so much gear in there that I'll only have one other bag to check. Everything's been double and triple checked.

All I could think of yesterday was how miserable Andrea must be in the rain. I'm having some major survivor's guilt! It's good to see that some nice people helped her out, but I still feel a little bad for being dry.


brent said...

did you need to take apart the bike to get it in the box?

Ira said...

I had to remove the front rack, handlebars, and front wheel. The box was gigantic.